Per a report from Jon Morosi of MLB.com, the Texas Rangers are one of a few teams to have had conversations with the Chicago Cubs about Kris Bryant.
Pitchers and catchers have finally reported to Spring Training but the pending start of baseball season hasn’t slowed down Jon Daniels and the Texas Rangers from exploring possible upgrades. Jon Morosi of MLB.com reported in a piece Tuesday night that Texas, among other teams, had reached out to the Chicago Cubs regarding former MVP Kris Bryant. The star third baseman has been a rumored trade piece for Chicago all season and while no discussions seem advanced, the sense that he will get dealt sooner rather than later continues to grow.
Comments from Jon Daniels, GM of the Rangers, made last week seem to indicate that Texas is open to moves between now and the start of the season. The saga surrounding the Rangers pursuit of a replacement to Adrian Beltre this offseason has long been discussed but due to various circumstances, so far the club has brought in just Todd Frazier, who is an upgrade and a veteran asset, but not of the star quality Texas reportedly would like to add.
Bryant is coming off the third All-Star appearance of his career and at 28-years old, seems to have one of the brightest futures in the game. The 2016 NL MVP has a career average of .284 with an OPS of .901 with 25 or more home runs in four of his first five big league seasons. Defensively, Bryant isn’t an elite third baseman, with negative UZR/150 ratings in each of the past three seasons. However, his offensive value vastly improves his overall value and his 4.8 fWAR in 2019 would’ve led the Rangers by a considerable margin.
Texas is longing for an impact bat to insert in their lineup alongside Joey Gallo and Willie Calhoun. Beyond those two, nobody in the Rangers current 2020 lineup projects to be well-above average at the plate, a concerning point for a club that has constructed a rotation among the best in baseball. As of now, the Rangers are projected by many outlets to finish in fourth in the AL West behind the A’s, Astros and Angels. While Texas feels that their competitive window is just now opening, the need for high caliber players continues to grow with only Joey Gallo representing long-term superstar quality.